Friday, May 22, 2015

Small Animal Swap Meet In Louisville, New York

The Northern New York Poultry Club morphed, over the winter, into something called Country Thyme Living. There were several changes of name and purges of former members. I kept my head down until it was over and was eager to attend their first function this spring, a swap meet. Last autumn's swap meet was filled with small animals - chickens, ducks, goats, pigs and rabbits:

This year's swap meet, however, had only five people with animals. There were three tailgate venders outdoors, including this one with lovely Roller Pigeons. I was still hoping to find some Fantail Pigeons, but this man had none:

This woman had crossbred roosters and two Turkens (bald chickens). I suspected that neither would be hot commodities, but I kept my opinion to myself and wished her well:

Three of her roosters. They were handsome birds, but people with chickens usually already have more roosters than they know what to do with:

The third and final outdoor vender had three cages of chickens. I thought the white ones might be Phoenix because of their long tails, but the guys were so busy chatting that I never got to ask. The little black hens in the center were a breed unknown to me:

I went inside to see what else they had and was surprised to find that it was a hockey arena. This is far northern New York, almost Canada, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised to find that hockey is a major sport here:

There were vender's booths set up everywhere. This one had plants for sale:

A woodcraft booth:

Birdhouses and lamps made of birdhouses:

Wool, yarn and wool crafts, with a woman spinning:

Alpaca wool and crafts. I wished I'd have looked at this one more carefully:

There were only two tables with animals. One had fish, mice and hamsters. And this one had baby chicks and Ameraucana (a chicken breed which lays blue and green eggs) eggs, sold by the dozen. But that was about all there was to see, so I walked back out to my car and headed for home:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Days Of The Shadbush - A Farm Update

My neighbor took this photo from his house across the road one foggy morning, of my cattle in the south field. I'm now hoping for another such fog so I can walk out and get some misty close-ups of the cattle. That sort of fog only seems to happen in the north field, though, so I'll lose my chance in another week or so when I move the cows back across the road:

The cattle liked the warm weather and they enjoyed the grass in the north field. The increased flies, however, they have not been so happy about. But so far at least, they haven't been biting flies, just the annoying kind which cluster on their faces:

The Fantail Pigeons have continued to stay indoors despite the big, open window they have each day:

They also have not been raising any babies. Maybe all the failed attempts during the winter wore them out:

Gracie was due in 20 days at the time I took this photo. Her udder was already swollen with milk and looked painful. Her belly was similarly swollen. Luckily, her sweet nature remained intact:

Then one day I noticed white sprinkles in the trees behind the cattle, and I knew that the Shadbush were beginning to bloom:

And bloom they did. Clearly, the horrible winter we'd just lived through had not set them back:

All along every roadside and scattered throughout every woodland were Shadbush, blooming profusely:

I bought two red Azaleas half price at Home Depot and planted them in the front yard. They both had plenty of buds so I am hoping to see flowers any day now:

The Shadbush at the edge of the north field blossomed fully and I began looking for nice ways to photograph the cattle with the Shadbush in the background. This picture was taken on my side lawn, standing beneath the Eastern White Cedar, and looking across the dirt road to the north field. That yellow square, by the way, is an "Electric Fence" sign, hanging from a fence wire:

Violet is my least friendly cow but she likes me enough to watch me from a short distance. In this case, she looked quite striking, standing in front of the white Shadbush flowers and white Birch trunks at the edge of the field:

I continued to give the cattle bowls of grain each morning, though it's a bit more tricky when they're not in stalls. In this case, Gracie (note the giant udder) and 9 month old Rosella were wrestling over a bowl of grain:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pets In May

As if to make up for the long, frigid, difficult winter, spring arrived suddenly with warm and sunny weather. All the animals were as happy about that as I was. Seamus basked in the back yard sun, while chickens and cows did likewise in the background:

Indoors, however, the dog piles continued - like this one, containing Clover, Seamus, Daphne and Fergus:

All five dogs in the back yard (Hint - Clover looks very tiny and is lying against the house, between the right two windows):

Again, all five dogs, enjoying the sun and gentle breezes:

A trio of friends: Clover, Snoozey and Bramble:

Clover and Daphne, alternating between watching the cows and watching me:

There's a lot to be seen through the fence as spring unfolds all around us:

Why, it's enough to make little Jack howl for joy!:

Bramble likes PeeWee's old doggy bed beneath my computer desk. Jack likes it too, and sometimes tries to move Bramble out of it. So far there's been no spat - but no sharing the bed either:

Daphne, Clover and Fergus:

Early in the morning, while I'm drinking coffee, Seamus waited for breakfast to be served:

And at the end of the day (or at nap time), all the dogs collect in the bedroom: